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We started this month by welcoming a new member to our team Stuart W. Smith as our office’s Communications Specialist. Stuart brings a wealth of knowledge from his past experience in broadcast journalism and media relations. In his role he will be working to showcase our San Juan County as a place to live and do business. Additionally, he will be strengthening our communication and outreach efforts within the county. Stuart and his wife Pat (the county librarian) have lived in San Juan County for 12 years. He was drawn to the area for its beauty and rich history. We are excited to welcome Stuart!

The timing and need for collaborative planning has never been more evident in San Juan County. This has been our focus this year and particularly apparent in our efforts leading into this fall and winter season. At 7,933 square miles our county’s culture, history, and sentiment varies from North to South and East to West. However, in all the variance we have found commonality in sense of place. This sentiment rises above the differences, and has shown us the importance of preserving all these things that make up the ethos of San Juan County.   
In September the Rural Economic Diversification Summit (REDS) allowed us to bring local, regional, state, and federal stakeholders to the table to discuss how we can continue to move the needle for Economic Development in San Juan. We were able to layer presentations of available funding and investment opportunities, regional and state economic development efforts, and current state of the economy with breakout brainstorming and hearing sessions. These breakout sessions provided our office with key insights into how we need to continue to evolve our strategic planning efforts as well as areas which we should prioritize. 

The Utah Legislative Familiarization Tour allowed us to provide Utah state legislatures with an introduction and overview of the public lands and communities in our county. Additionally, it was a time for legislatures to meet with public land managers and locally elected officials. A round table with Congressman Curtis and Navajo Nation President Nez allowed elected officials to discuss top priorities for collaboration and moving forward with road and broadband efforts.

Finally, through our office’s Cafeteria Program offered to county communities our team has been wrapping up the year with the development of community rip maps and guides for Monticello, Blanding, and Bluff. These pieces are intended to showcase the county through resident profiles as well as unique food, lodging, shopping, and activity options. Not only do these guides showcase why visitors should stay longer in San Juan, they also showcase why this is a great place to live, work, and play.

The culmination of our year’s efforts have continued to highlight and grow the key areas of focus within the county strategic plan including: Broadband, Transportation, Diversification of Workforce & Economy, Business Expansion & Retention, and a Celebration of Culture and Heritage. We encourage you as an individual business, groups of businesses, community leaders, concerned citizens; or however you identify in our county to engage and participate in our outreach efforts. 

We wish you all the best the “most wonderful time of the year!”
Economic Development is more than bringing new business in...
For San Juan County Business Expansion and Retention is one a key areas of focus. For communities and businesses 2019 was all about leveraging available funding, resources, and opportunities. Here are some highlights of the year.

For more and to see features throughout the quarter, be sure to follow us in our Newsroom .
Emery Telcom continues to thread its way to Broadband and Fiber Optic connections.
Emery Telcom continues to thread its way to Broadband and Fiber Optic connections for the majority of San Juan County. Congressional funding for the project matches investment with communications companies for providing service to rural America. In a win win situation companies like Emery are given the opportunity to expand their service and improve reliability at a higher level than they might be able to afford currently. And the nation gets a network of broadband allowing those in its reach to become part of a vibrant digital world. Telecommuting from literally anywhere is the ultimate goal.
Blanding Elevates Marketing with Cafeteria & Co-Op Programs.
Blanding City put a wrap on a strong 2019 and is moving right into what Pratt Redd hopes is a huge 2020 economically. Redd of Blanding City’s Economic Development office says “This past year Blanding City has been able to really market ourselves and take big steps forward in economic development and visitor services.” The community is divided in its assessment of the forces of growth. Redd explains it as only a local can. “ At times growth and tourism are frowned upon and misunderstood, but the best way to combat that is to work with the residents and try our best to attract growth and visitors that align with the community.” Continue Reading.
Patio Leverages RFT, SBA, USDA, and more.
The Patio Diner in Blanding was long overdue for a renovation. A landmark in the town since the 1950's it first started out as an A&W but by 1964 it had become The Patio. And on the patio was where a good number of it's diners ate. That is until Lana and Ricky Arthur became the owners. 
Through the  Rural Fast Track Program  in the State of Utah Natalie Randall at the San Juan County Economic Development and Visitors Services office was able to help the Arthurs work through the process of getting a Fast Track Grant for a substantial portion of what they needed to make the necessary improvements. That funding and some help with a Gap Loan through the  Revolving Loan Fund through the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Government (SEUALG) , as well as an  SBA loan  are a few of the tools in the array of assistance programs for businesses that allowed them to make major improvements in The Patio. Lana says it was a bit of a juggling act. The bank was interested in the stream of revenue continuing, even through the renovation. “The bank was strict on closures but we did it. With Natalie’s help I think we cut the amount of time to get through the approval process by a third.” She says. 
No one has to eat out on the patio anymore unless the weather is nice and they want to. Doubling the size of the existing building, purchase of a new grill, refrigerators, upgraded air conditioning units, and a walk in freezer allowed Lana and Ricky to make the changes that will keep The Patio Diner on the map for another 60 years. 
H+ Aesthetics
Blanding City has been fast tracked to development, in part because of the increase in traffic through the region as well as Blanding City's strategic move in hiring an Economic Development Specialist--Pratt Redd . Overall there has not only been an increase in visitors but has also a bit of a boom for the retailers and services located in Blanding. The Rural Fast Track Program has been used successfully for that by Hannah Bailey owner of H+ Aesthetics. Continue Reading.
Bluff 1365 Years Later.
For a little over 1300 years the Town of Bluff has been more than just a wide spot on the San Juan River beneath the sandstone spires dubbed The Navajo Twins. Tradition tells a story that the twins are the prayer sticks belonging to Monster Slayer and Born for Water, two very powerful characters, perhaps the most important in Navajo mythology. In 2018 the small community became Utah’s newest town. A population of approximately 250 people now call Bluff home. 

Linda Sosa of Bluff’s Town Council is working to balance tourism and quality of life for Bluff’s residents. With a little help from the San Juan County Economic Development and Visitors Services office Linda was able to target and maximize the reach of such a small community to the world. San Juan County’s own Cafeteria Program allowed the cost of promoting things like the Bluff Balloon Festival and Bluff Arts Festival to come from cooperative marketing grants instead of badly needed operating budget better utilized in paying for city services. Rip Maps for walking tours of the little town and a pocket visitors guide were paid for with funding from the Cafeteria Program. In all the Co-op grant program awarded over $22,000 to optimize search engines, promote the annual Bluff Art and Balloon Festival and redesign the website for BOB (Business Owners of Bluff) a site that gives visitors an online guide to all that Bluff has to offer. Ads promoting the community as a destination for visitors can be found on Facebook and other social media platforms as a result of funding from the grants. (Story continued here) 
During the 2018 Utah General Legislative Session, H.B. 327 and H.B. 390, the Rural Online Initiative (ROI) and the Rural Economic Development Incentive (REDI) respectively, were signed into law by Gov. Gary R. Herbert, changing the landscape of rural economic development. Funding for the ROI was appropriated to Utah State University Extension for program development and delivery across targeted rural counties. The focus of the ROI program is to prepare Utah’s rural workforce for the future of work with education, training, and services for online opportunities in remote employment, freelance work, and e-commerce. In 2019 San Juan County residents enthusiastically participated in the programs available, here is a breakdown of the numbers specific to San Juan County:
  • 75 attendees at Town Halls (in Monticello & Blanding)
  • 53 sign ups for the Remote Work Certificate
  • 27 graduates received a Remote Work Certificate
  • Employed: data is still be collected, however 3 students have reported employment
  • 2 freelancers
  • 1 entrepreneur
 The purpose of the September 23, 2019 summit was to meet with all community leaders to discuss San Juan County’s strategic economic development plan . The five key areas of focus of the plan were consolidated into four breakout sessions (see below). The REDS was led out discussing opportunities for regional economic development, rural efforts occurring in neighboring communities in Colorado, federal funding for SJC, and an overview from Val Hale of GOED regarding the next steps for the State of Utah and Rural Development. Breakouts were facilitated by industry experts from across the state. The goal of each breakout was to highlight key actionable items that San Juan County will then integrate into the countywide economic development strategy. We will continue to provide follow up of the REDS on our website .
Q4 2019 has been busy with familiarization (FAM) tours and travel trade shows. The concept of these style tours is to promote the area to travel agents, media personnel, as well as adventure and travel coordinators from around the globe. These types of tours allow us to maximize our exposure and offer first-hand experience to influencers in our target markets.

  • KBC - UK representation, Monument Valley (Goulding's), Bluff, & San Juan River, Sept 13 &14
  • Easy Rider/Eagle Rider - Journalist w/ Brand USA, Monument Valley, Sept 25-27
  • Utah Legislative FAM - Bears Ears NM, Bluff, Glen Canyon NRA, BLM, Sept 26-28
  • Little America - Netherlands, Blanding, Bluff, Monument Valley, Oct 2
  • Hotelplan - Switzerland, Monument Valley (Goulding's), Oct 3
  • Canadian Film - Seeing the USA, PBS Canada, Monument Valley, Oct 21
  • German Media - Travel editor of SÜDKURIER, Bluff, Monument Valley, Oct 23-24
  • Visit USA Parks Influencer - Germany, Australia, France, US (Den, Phx, LA), Countywide, Oct 29-Nov 6
In 2019 the San Juan County Economic Development & Visitor Services (SJCEDVS) office allocated $100K into a Cafeteria Program & Co-Op Grant Program --essentially a grant and resource program--to assist communities and business groups in their tourism marketing efforts. The funding for this program is a percentage of the Transient Room Tax (TRT) dollars the county receives that state statute ear marks for the marketing of tourism. The hope of our office in opening these programs was to help applicants stretch their marketing dollar and messaging, as well as to provide collaborative reinvestment into the communities and businesses generating these funds.
MONTICELLO, Utah — Starting January 1, 2020, the BLM Monticello Field Office will increase Individual Special Recreation Permit (ISRP) fees charged for day use and backpacking at fee sites within the Cedar Mesa Special Recreation Management Area and expand the ISRP fee for hiking to archeological sites in Butler Wash The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 authorizes the BLM to collect recreation fees and allows the BLM to keep the fee revenues at the local offices where they are collected. The BLM uses Cedar Mesa fee dollars to provide services at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station, improve facilities, update signage, and increase the ranger presence at archeological sites and trailheads. Continue Reading.
Guides & Outfitters are listed at no charge on visitutah.com. To get listed or update your listing, visit: https://www.visitutah.com/plan-your-trip/guides-outfitters/ and e-mail any changes or new listings to Kelly Day at UOT at: kday@utah.gov  (Include: a brief description of services, full address, phone number, website URL, contact person for the listing and a few images. It would also be helpful to send your TripAdvisor link.)
Please take note of deadlines for some of these funding sources.
Enterprise Zone Are you seeking to expand or relocate your business in rural Utah? The Enterprise Zone helps with 1) Incremental tax credits for new jobs paying above county average wage 2) Capital investment tax credits.

The San Juan County Enterprise Zone district can be found at locate.utah.gov
  The Targeted Business Tax Credit (TBTC) is an Office of Rural Development (ORD) incentive that has been underutilized in the past for several different reasons, but we are ready to promote it! For more detailed information, see GOED’s website: https://business.utah.gov/rural/ and scroll down to the Targeted Business Tax Credit.  Application period deadline for TBTC applications open January 1 and close February 1.

Noteworthy on TBTC:
  • This is a "time sensitive" program and applications will be accepted until February 1, 2020
  • TBTC is a competitive process and submitted projects will be reviewed, ranked and rated according to statute, rules and policy.
  • TBTC projects must meet a high standard in terms of capital investment and number of jobs created
  • TBTC is only available to businesses located in counties of less than 25,000 population
We strive to maintain accurate information about businesses operating in San Juan County on our website. If you have a listing, please review it for accuracy and if you do not have a listing and would like one, please click on the e-mail link below and send us a photo and all the information you'd like included in your listing.
San Juan County EDVS
Social Media Image of the Quarter
Tri-Hurst Construction aerial showcasing the progress on new Bluff Elementary School. Follow them on Fa cebook @TriHurstConstruction